Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service
Firefighter Cancer Support Network and Honeywell Join Together for the Fight
Burbank, Cal., Aug. 15, 2013 — Multiple studies have demonstrated statistically higher rates of various types of cancers in firefighters compared to the general American population. In an effort to help address the alarming rate of cancer in the fire service, the Firefighter Cancer Support Network has published an industry white paper that provides useful information regarding the risks firefighters face during the course of their duties, and also offers practical tips for minimizing their exposure to cancer-causing substances.
In April 2013, the Firefighter Cancer Support Network invited a group of experts to Indianapolis to participate in a working session to develop the white paper Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service. The participants came from a diverse group of legal, medical and social research communities as well as key members of the fire service. In particular, two of the firefighters who participated are cancer survivors, which gave valuable insight and validation to the development of this extremely relevant document. Interestingly, it turned out that every workshop participant knew firefighters who either currently have cancer or have died as a result of occupational cancer.
“Cancer is a looming potential health issue for each and every firefighter, and it is the most dangerous and unrecognized threat to the health and safety of our nation’s firefighters,” said FCSN President Dan Crow. ”FCSN is honored to be able to partner with industry experts to provide this important information to the nation’s fire service.”
The white paper explains the approach to identifying risks associated with cancer in the fire service, some effective ways of dealing with employees diagnosed with cancer, and, most important, standard methods of reducing the risk of cancer during the course of duty. These prevention tips include wearing the SCBA during all phases of the overhaul process, decontaminating PPE at the fire scene before returning it to service, undergoing wellness exams annually, and wearing sunscreen when in training or when prolonged outdoor sun exposure is anticipated, to name just a few. To view the full report, go to www.FCSN.net.
“This white paper will get the attention of every firefighter, career or volunteer, and it will help focus the efforts of national fire service organizations on firefighter cancer,” said Claire Miller, vice president of marketing, Honeywell First Responder Products. “Most important, this report includes some practical, easy-to-implement tips that each firefighter can take to reduce their risk.”
The FCSN provides timely assistance and one-on-one support to fire/EMS service members and their families after a cancer diagnosis, and it educates the fire/EMS service about cancer awareness, prevention, early detection and treatment options. The FCSN was founded in 2005 by LA County Fire Department FF/PM Mike Dubron (survivor of stage IV colon cancer) and was approved by the IRS in 2006 as a 501(c) 3 Charitable Foundation. FCSN is governed by an elected ten-member board of directors from across the country. www.firefightercancersupport.org
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Firefighter Cancer Support Network